Nutrients for hair and their benefits
Healthy looking hair is in general a sign of good health and good hair-care practices. Most healthy individuals have adequate nutrients in their diet; however some people do not have access to good nutrition, others have medical illnesses that predispose them to nutritional deficiency which influence scalp / body hair.
There are some major factors that influence your hair—genetics, age, hormones, nutrient deficiencies, and more—but what you eat is one of the few things you can do to control your hair’s behavior. After all, if you are predisposed to thin, so-so hair, you wouldn’t want to make it worse by consuming the wrong foods, would you? And even if you belong in a hair commercial, you’d like to protect that look, right?
Hair is the fastest growing natural tissue in the human body: the average rate of growth is 0.5cm – 1.7cm per month depending on ethnicity. Optimal growth occurs from age 15 – 30 and reduces from age 40 – 50. Although men find beard hair grows faster beyond the age of 50 years.
Like any other part of your body, hair needs a variety of nutrients to be healthy and grow
In fact, many nutritional deficiencies are linked to hair loss.
Below are 5 vitamins and 3 other nutrients that may be important for hair growth.
- Vitamin A
All cells need vitamin A for growth. This includes hair, the fastest growing tissue in the human body.
One of the best known vitamins for hair growth is a B-vitamin called biotin.
- Vitamin C
Free radical damage can block growth and cause your hair to age.
- Vitamin D
Low levels of vitamin D are linked to alopecia, a technical term for hair loss
- Vitamin E
Similar to vitamin C, vitamin E is an antioxidant that can prevent oxidative stress.
Iron helps red blood cells carry oxygen to your cells. This makes it an important mineral for many bodily functions, including hair growth.
Zinc plays an important role in hair tissue growth and repair. It also helps keep the oil glands around the follicles working properly.
Hair is made almost entirely of protein. Consuming enough is important for hair growth.
Food is the best source of the vitamins you need for hair growth. However, if you fail to get enough in your diet, supplements may be helpful. According to research, supplements work best in individuals who are already deficient.